UConn got a game-high 21 points from Alterique Gilbert in Sunday's 88-62 rout of New Hampshire at the XL Center in Hartford, Connecticut, but the junior guard was quick to deflect the reasons behind the team's dominance.
"I just think my coaches and my teammates put me in great positions to make plays, and shots were falling tonight," Gilbert told SNY's Chris Williamson after the game. "We're just looking to move forward."
Gilbert made 3 of 5 triples to highlight the spike from three-point range for the Huskies (8-3), who burned the Wildcats (6-6) by shooting 45.8 percent behind the arc.
UConn drilled 11 triples. The production included two apiece from junior forward Tyler Polley (six points) and the duo of freshman guards James Bouknight (14 points) and Jalen Gaffney (eight points). Redshirt freshman forward Akok Akok (12 points) and senior guard Christian Vital (15 points) rounded out the three-point makes with one each.
"He's obviously a much better shooter," head coach Dan Hurley said of Gilbert. "His numbers this year ... I look at Al, I see a guy that, if he takes the right kind of threes, is a high 30- -- maybe 40- -- percent three-point shooter. And we hope that we get that from him the rest of the way. He's capable of doing that, if he takes the right ones."
After the Huskies fell behind 18-9 at the 12:32 mark of the first half, Hurley called timeout and took a 27-20 lead on an 18-2 run into the 6:40 point. Gaffney got the charge going on a three-pointer at the 12:12 and, after 12 more points from a flurry of UConn players, Gilbert put the exclamation point on the spurt with a triple with 6:40 left in the half. The Huskies raced to a 40-36 halftime lead before coming out of the locker room and routing New Hampshire.
"That's a big push, man, especially Jalen and Bouk' coming off the bench, giving us those points off the bench," Gilbert said. "Very important. It's just very critical. And they're things that we need to win."
The trio of Akok, Bouknight and Gaffney combined for 34 points to complement Gilbert's game-high performance.
"I was kind of itching to maybe go back to the older guys or get one of those younger guys off the court, but it's just that James was, obviously, really good and you can see Gaffney starting to figure some things out out there and just everyone gave us stuff today," Hurley said.
After a week-long break, Hurley and UConn take two straight wins into next Sunday when the Huskies host NJIT (3-9) at 1 p.m.